“We must protect our own economy at times when a free and fair trade system is shaken and export regulations are adopted for political purposes,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday. These remarks by the president on the first day of Japan’s removal of South Korea from its “white list” showed a strong “over-Japanese sentiment.”
“Nobody can slow down our steps heading towards a new future,” said President Moon at the groundbreaking ceremony of Hyundai Mobis’ auto parts plant, which was held Wednesday at the Ewha Industrial Complex in Ulsan. “Our people and businesses are coming together to reinforce our national economy,” Moon added. “What we need right now is determination and confidence to protect our economy on our own.”
The president expressed his dedication to fighting against Japan’s economic controls at Hyundai Mobis’ site, the first South Korean automotive company to bring back its overseas vehicle parts plant to the home country. President Moon did not mention Japan during the whole day, which is thought to be his way to avoid direct criticism and deliver an indirect message to Japan to engage in diplomatic resolutions.
Meanwhile, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon said at an extended meeting of ministers held Wednesday at the government complex in Sejong City, “We express deep regret over Japan’s continued unfair actions against South Korea,” the prime minister said. “We urge Japan to stop worsening the situation and engage in communication with sincerity to restore the bilateral relations.”